Monday, October 17, 2011

Gluten Free Cornbread

Not grain-free, but this one is a pet peeve of mine.

Cornbread, to me, is a bread made with cornmeal. This is how I was raised. I had no idea the ubiquity of the "cake with an accent of cornmeal" type of cornbread until shortly after we moved. My cookbook was still packed up, and I wasn't quite sure of the recipe, so I googled for a cornbread recipe, hoping to find something that would work.

Everything that popped up contained flour.

So I got smart, or so I thought, and searched for gluten-free cornbread. Everything that popped up contained a zillion ingredients, including at least 3 different types of non-wheat flour, plus a gum of some sort.

It doesn't have to be that difficult, people. This is one reason people get scared off by gluten-free - so many of the recipes require a trip to a specialty store. But really, you can make perfectly good, tasty stuff with only ingredients that you can find at any decent supermarket.

Finally, I googled for "Joy Of Cooking cornbread" and found my naturally gluten-free recipe:

1 tablespoon fat of choice (for greasing pan)
1 ¾ cups cornmeal
1 tablespoon sugar (or more, or less, or none, or alternative sweetener, depending on your preferences)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2 cups buttermilk (can replace with any slightly acidic liquid - I generally use 1 cup coconut milk and 1 cup water with a tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice added. You could also use thinned yogurt or sour cream, or any other dairy or non-dairy milk with vinegar or lemon juice added)
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Grease a heavy 9-inch oven-proof skillet, preferably cast iron, or an 8-inch square glass baking dish. If you want to be traditional, you grease the cast-iron skillet and stick it in the oven to preheat. I don't usually do that.

Mix together dry ingredients. Crack and beat eggs. Add buttermilk (or appropriate replacement) to eggs an mix. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk just until blended. Place the skillet or pan in the oven and heat until the fat smokes (or don't, if that sort of excitement doesn't appeal. It will work fine starting with a cold pan). Pour in the batter all at once and stick in the oven.
Bake until the top is browned and the center feels firm when pressed, 20 to 25 minutes  Serve immediately from the pan, cut into wedges or squares with butter (or whatever topping you prefer).
There you go. Gluten-free cornbread with no special ingredients.
I have made it with masa harina in place of about 1/2 cup of cornmeal, and that makes it really nice and fluffy (though gives it a slight tortilla taste). You might get similar results with some other non-wheat flour. I couldn't tell you, since I haven't tried. But straight cornmeal really works just fine.

No comments:

Post a Comment